Founded in 2018, South Shore Joint Initiative is a registered charity based in Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada. We are governed by a Board of Directors elected from our membership. Learn about our volunteer board members below.

2020/2021 SSJI Board of Directors:

John Hirsch, President

John had a long career in the Federal government with Canada Customs. Later he was a private sector Customs and trade consultant and wound up his professional career in warehouse and transportation logistics in the Toronto area. Upon retiring to the County in 2014 with his wife and cats, John got involved in community service, primarily in the areas of environment and conservation – especially in respect of the PEC South Shore.

Volunteer and Community Involvement Prince Edward County since 2014

  • 2018 – Founding Director and President of the South Shore Joint Initiative
  • 2016 – Present -Director of CCSAGE – County Coalition for Safe and Appropriate Green Energy
  • 2015 – 2017 -Appellant in the successful WPD White Pines ERT appeal
  • 2015 – Present -Board member Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory
  • 2015 – Appointed to the Board of Quinte Conservation Authority by the Municipality of Prince Edward County

Persuaded by many people in the environmental movement, John ran in the municipal election in 2018 and now represents Ward 9 South Marysburgh. In this capacity, he sits on the Board of Quinte Conservation, the Audit committee, Prince Edward Heritage Advisory committee and now the newly formed Environmental Advisory Committee.


Cheryl Anderson, Vice-President

Cheryl Anderson arrived in Prince Edward County in 2003 after retiring from a career in biochemistry research at the University of Guelph.  In Guelph, Cheryl served in several positions of the executive of the Guelph Field Naturalists; and, as a member of the Guelph Round Table on the Environment and Economy, she chaired a Community Involvement Program to write a Green Plan for the City of Guelph. In Prince Edward County Cheryl has served on the executive board of the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists and of the Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory and currently is a board member of the South Shore Joint Initiative.  Her interest in the natural world has led to advocacy for the Prince Edward County South Shore Important Bird and Biodiversity Area.


Dick Bird

Dick Bird is a lifelong resident of the area and a retired chemistry teacher. As former VP of Hastings Prince Edward Land Trust and volunteer with Nature Conservancy Canada, Dick was a fundraiser for Miller Family Nature Reserve and Hudgin Rose Nature Reserve land purchases.  Dick is a traditional builder of cedar/canvas canoes, many of which have been donated to raise funds for environmental and heritage causes and a recipient of numerous environmental awards.


Amy Bodman

Amy Bodman is on the Executive of the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists and the PEC Trails Committee and is a member of the Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory. She is also a writer, a filmmaker and a nature enthusiast. She lives in Wellington.


Geoff Craig

Geoff’s involvement with the County stretches back 40 years to visiting and camping at Sandbanks in younger days with friends and family. In 2004, he bought a site on Smith’s Bay for his retirement home, and built there in 2017. Now recently retired and looking to expand his activities, the enjoyment of exploring all that the County has to offer over the years, has fueled his interest in both understanding and preserving the biodiversity of the South Shore. He recognizes that full community support will be required for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to leave a generational benefit for migratory birds, species at risk, natural core areas, and County residents. He is excited and dedicated to working to make a "point to point" South Shore Eco Footpath come to life.

In his past life he was a marketing and NFP executive, including working on the Dove Real Beauty campaign, and Chief Marketing and Development Officer at Heart and Stroke.


John Foster

I started out liking trees, then birds and wildflowers and more. I have gained a connection to and appreciation for the natural environment. I put aside time to do photography, sketch, paint and read about what I naturally encounter. It's important for me to advocate for and support environmental causes. I like to volunteer for these. As a part of SSJI, I have had the opportunity to meet a lot of fellow members, experienced the enthusiasm that is our group, and made several new friends. It's important, to speak for and to work for the conservation of the South Shore now and into the future.


John Lowry

Belleville resident John Lowry holds a life-long passion for the natural world. He is involved with a variety of environmental organizations in the region and is committed to
protecting the beautiful natural areas we are fortunate to have locally. Now retired after serving over thirty years with the Belleville Police Service, John and his partner Lori spend much of their time hiking, exploring, and indulging in their passion for photography capturing the many wonders of nature.


Mark Paddison

Mark’s love of the natural world started in childhood when he found the harmony of nature to be his guide to living life. This commitment and passion for the environment led to a successful thirty-five-year career in photovoltaics – one of the world’s most technologically advanced tools for capturing solar energy.  

He was a board member of CanSIA - the Canadian Solar Industries Association. This national not-for-profit works on behalf of members to facilitate and promote the responsible and sustainable growth of solar energy.

Based in the South Shore of Prince Edward County, Mark now runs his own company which focuses on preserving and maintaining natural ecosystems. Working and volunteering in the County, Mark is well-known for his positions with local environmental organizations. He’s worked with Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory (PEPtBO) as a facilities manager, Prince Edward Point National Wildlife Area (PEPNWA) as a caretaker as well as with Nature Conservancy of Canada as a volunteer.



Barb Tomlin